DAY 22 – Sharpen your IELTS Reading Skill – SHORT ANSWER – Practice reading online

Today, let’s learn the Short Answer format in IELTS Reading. This is not too difficult a type of exercise, but it takes a lot of practice and pay attention to the suggestions below.

1. What type of question is Short Answer?

This is a question-answer format, which means the topic will ask questions and your task is to answer. However, you do not want to answer correctly, but the question will limit the number of words to answer. For example, the only answer in “One word” is 1 word only. In general, the type of article is quite rare in Reading (less common than other types of articles).

In my opinion, this is quite similar to “Completion” which is to fill in words, only instead of punching holes for you to fill in. Then they made a question to make it easier for me to find information for the answer. In general, this is not a difficult type of test, easy to get points if done carefully.
How to do the lesson I will talk about below, please take a look at the post format!

IELTS reading short answer

Illustration of the SHORT ANSWER . card format

2. How to do the test

Step 1: Circle the number of words to fill in

NO MORE TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER means number = one Word. When you encounter this type of question, a number is counted as a word.

Usually I find Reading will give “One word and/or a number” so you can answer 1 word. Or if the question is “When” then you can answer 1 number. For example “1998”.

The questions you have already found the answer to, your answer consists of 2 words, for example “red bottle”, but the question only allows you to fill in “one word”, in my opinion you should omit 1 unimportant word. important in it. For example, in the above phrase “red”, just fill in “bottle” because red is descriptive for things.

But there are cases where the wrong word to be filled in is removed, so practice a lot to know how to make IELTS questions and how IELTS for answers will usually look like!

Step 2: Circle the word to ask + Predict the answer in advance

We will have some basic question words like 5W – 1 H: Why, what, where, when, who and how. But when looking at the questions in the exam, we should circle something more specific like that, for example the one below, some words to pay attention to are:

1. What, African rhinoceros, compared

-> Then answer “what” the African rhinoceros is compared to

2. Which type, fell in number, below a hundred

-> Then you need to answer which rhino “species” reduces the number to less than 100

3. What percentage, black rhinos, unexpectedly killed, 1992

-> Find in 1992 article, answer “percentage” that black rhino is illegally killed

Step 3: Check the answer again

– Check if your answer needs the article “a” or “the” “The”, for example a book, the park, The Secret Garden (the book’s proper name), if so, the article is also counted is ONE WORD, so you have to check the necessity and ask the question about the number of words to fill in. And as I said above like “red” is an example of that.

– Check whether “s” is needed or not, learn the list of plural countable nouns, uncountable nouns, nouns that cannot be added with “s”, mandatory nouns/noun phrases “S”.

– Usually you should copy paste the same from the previous reading, so make sure that your “copy paste” step is not misspelled, there is no missing s, no more or less!

3. Practice

Sensory Overload

A Are you suffering from a feeling of annoyance? Does life seem to get more and more irritating all the time? Do you struggle day to day just to stay calm and clear-headed in the face of more and more frustrating experiences? If your answer to these questions is “YES,” you are not alone. In fact, you are part of a growing trend that demonstrates the significance of the small events which annoy us on a day to day basis.

B According to psychologist Maurice Penman, inhabitants of today’s modern cities face a far more aggressive range of experiences than ever before. “It is not simply that the pace of life is faster in today’s world, or that people are under more pressure at work. Of course, both those things are true. But today people are exposed to a greater number of both visual and auditory stimuli. Basically, this means we are being asked to both look at and listen to far more than we have ever been before.”

C However, Penman is quick to point out that many of the things which are contributing to these problems are also the same things many of us value. A greater sense of irritation is the price we pay for the convenience of the Internet and mobile phones. “Mobile phones are a very significant example to consider. There is no doubt that they are useful in a multitude of ways, and most people do not want to go back to the days before them. But at the same time, mobile phones have almost completely destroyed a sense of quiet public space. There was a time when you could rely on public transport being relatively quiet, a place to think about the events of the day on the way home. Now a bus or a train carriage can feel like being locked in a busy office.”

D The increase in sensory demands is not just due to the use of mobile phones. Advertisers are reaching out to potential consumers more aggressively than ever. News services are now broadcast on buses and at train platforms. Family meals are frequently interrupted by telephone canvassers and email users are often forced to deal with an avalanche of unsolicited promotional messages, or “SPAM”. One could easily imagine that our children and their children may have to guard their homes from an overwhelming amount of annoyance

E While it is difficult to deny the growth in these increasing events in our day, is there actually any real significance to these facts? Penman argues: “There is no doubt that on the surface, this increase of stimuli in our day simply appears to be a matter of minor annoyance. But when we look closely, we can see that this has the potential to significant affect our psychological health.” He goes on to explain that if exposure to these irritations is frequent and prolonged, very subtly our stress levels begin to rise. As they do, we find there is a compound effect. Stress from the minor episodes in the day starts to increase our feeling of pressure when faced with major challenges at work. We are increasing a greater and greater stress load, with opportunities to relax and unwind more and more restricted. Penman points out that even though we all sometimes crave stimulation, we have become so obsessed with it in the twenty-first century that it has now become almost impossible to avoid. Shops increasingly feel the need to play loud, thumping rock or techno music. Advertising becomes more and more energetically aggressive all the time. This, Penman maintains, prevents us from dealing with our daily stress and eliminates it from our systems. He adds: “You really do need to get right out of the city and into a quiet space now, though most of us are too busy to do that very often.”

F It might be easy for critics to dismiss the annoying experience of too many mobile phones on the bus, or any of the other stimuli Maurice Penman cites. However, it is the failure to eliminate stress which leads to potentially fatal consequences. If these daily distractions are seriously contributing to our stress levels, then Penman has identified a significant danger. We now know that stress truly is a killer, and has been implicated in the rise of depression, heart disease and even weight problems, as it increases hormones in the body which stimulate the appetite for fattening carbohydrate-rich foods.

G There is no denying that Maurice Penn’s main arguments are compelling. It seems that stress has become so prevalent that people are getting stressed about their levels of stress. But what are we supposed to do? He suggests we do everything we can to go within ourselves and try to maintain a sense of personal peace and space. He recommends the use of meditation and relaxation tapes, exercise at the end of the day whenever possible and greater emphasis on fun. Unfortunately, Maurice Penman had no suggestions for those of us who find meditation frustrating, or who get annoyed at relaxation tapes. He had no recommendations for days when you can’t find any equipment you need in the gym, or find yourself irritated at those around you who keep saying you need to have more fun.

Questions 25-27

Answer the questions below using words from the passage. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write the correct answers in boxes 25-27 on your Answer Sheet.
25 What word is used to describe how advertising has become?
26 What does stress make you want to eat?
What does Penman believe people should place more importance on in order to relieve stress?


25 aggressive
26 fattening food
27 fun

Link to download PDF version:

See more lessons with the same route:

Sharpen your IELTS Reading Skill – MATCHING HEADINGS

Sharpen your IELTS Reading Skill – TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN

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